When I was around Lvl 80ish I went into the bowl, would find a group killing and ask them if they minded if I looted what they left behind. I would also ask if there was anything specifically that they did not want me to loot due to the lock timer running out and groups still being in combat. I only ever had one issue and that was when i asked the group leader, who said yes, then another group member was unaware of what he said and sent me a tell rather upset about looting. After he/she found out the grp leader already said yes this person said "just dont loot beams, thats why im here". Show some courtesy to the group that is doing the work and they are more likely to NOT have an issue with you gettin some free trade xp off their work.
And I can understand after having been in a few groups in FB that it is very difficult to loot and contribute damage. A lot of stuff despawns even when you are actively trying to loot if you are taking multiple mobs at once and nonstop. I personally don't think it should be an issue if the person asks and is given permission. If given permission, it isn't stealing. If a timer runs out and makes it open loot, it technically isn't stealing. If it violates the tos, don't make them open lootable.
A lot of folks have offered good suggestions. Increase timers in certain areas, let the group decide how long the timer is/who can loot, etc.
I would suggest making tractor beams work the way mining beams work, except with one alteration(if coding is possible). Let me loot one after another without having to wait for the items to get to my ship. Often times you are moving and/or move out of range to loot the next item. Make base tractor speed much faster and farther(some of us only have 3 dev slots, should my looting ability be based on my device slots available? Won't even get into cargo space issues). I would say make your tractor beam at least faster than your combat speed. Maybe making it engine dependant isn't fair? Letting me loot everything off of a hulk at once.. or click click click on the items i want and not having to wait for it to reach me would be nice. I think altering the way we loot would fix a lot of the stuff despawning issues that folks have, more than extending timers would.
I am also for extending the loot timers on high spawn rate areas though if faster looting isnt possible. Either that or when the loot is awarded to a group member it just pops into your hold. If no space the stackable items pop into your hold and any you have room for, the other stuff stays until u can make room for it. I know folks would have issue with this for spacing items, so make unique/non trades exempt from this. The only problem with extending the timers is that if you are killing nonstop, having the stuff float around longer will not help you to loot it any better, will just have a clusterf*ck of hulks around you, not to mention the stuff nobody loots cuz its not high-quantity stacks.. well everyone except those F'n terrans.
Just some ideas to add to the already good ones mentioned.